General Discussion - Buying A Z Car
Editors Note - this is still in draft form, and is placed here for the team
to review/comment on...so if you're looking for exact data...read the following
with this fact in mind...Carl
Which Z Car Is For You?:
Like any auto purchase, the specific model of Z Car that you may buy is
a matter of personal preference. Here however we will discuss the overall
character of the different generations of Z Cars, with the hope that you
will be able to narrow your search down to one or two specific Generations
of the Z Cars.
The Z Cars have been in production for 26 years now, and a lot of evolution
has taken place over that period of time in the design objectives or purpose
of the car. To a certain extent I must admit that I myself have changed
my preferences for many automotive related matters during that period of
The First Generation Z Cars 1970 through 1978: These are considered
by many to be the most "sporting" of these Sports/GT machines.
They are the lightest weight, and while they make very fine GT's, they
are the most noisy and firm riding in stock form.
Being the oldest Z Cars you can buy, the first generation Z's can also be
the cars that require the most repair or restoration work to put them in
"as new" or fully serviceable condition. It is now becoming harder
to find OEM parts for these models also.
However being the oldest models, and the first generation of the breed,
they are also the most likely to hold their value or indeed increase in
value over time.
It is generally agreed that the 1970 240Z is the most collectable and when
restored to original condition it is the most likely to return the largest
percentage of one's investment when resold. The 1970 240Z is now a recognized
The 1972 240Z is considered to be the "best of the breed" in the
240Z series, and the 1978 280Z is likewise considered to be the "best
of the breed" in the 280Z series. Both these models benefit from a
few years of refinement based on the earlier cars and owner experience.
The Second Generation Z Cars 1979 through 1983: The 280ZX introduced
the concept of something eXtra in the Sports/GT series. The eXtra was Luxury.
The 280ZX built upon the success of the first generation Z's from a standpoint
of being a true Sports Car, but added to it some of the refinement and luxury
that the aging American car buyers of the 80's wanted. (many say the Z started
to evolve along with the "baby boomers" as they both grew older:-).
So if you are looking to maintain the original spirit of the Z Car but you
want a little added luxury the Second Generation 280ZX's may be the model
The 1983 Models of this generation are considered to be the "best of
the breed". Again because of the continued refinement of the series.
The Turbo models exibit good long term reliabiliey when properly maintained
and cared for. And do provide some additional "spirit" for the
driver that wants a little more performance.
The Third Generation Z Cars 1984 through 1989: The introduction
of the completely redesigned 300ZX in 1984 brought with it the introduction
of the first V6 engine for the Z Car. Again the move toward a more luxurious
sports/GT was evident. The first generation 300ZX was yet another step
toward the more refined and luxurious Sports/GT's of the 80's.
The Fourth Generation Z Cars 1990 through 1996: This model brought
the Z Car fully into the "high tech" arena of the 1990's Sports/GT
car scene. Again it was powered by the V6 however this time around it got
a twin turbo option. The maintaince costs of this model are in keeping
with it's up scale market targets, so if your looking at buying one on the
used car market, make sure you can afford to fix or repair when needed.
So.....which one is for you? Consider them all, go look them over and drive
each of them. Try to compare apples to apples however, by keeping them equivalent
in over-all condition.